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Meltdown of the Week


Finding Roger Federer Meltdown footage on YouTube is like finding a seat on the Number 4 Lexington Avenue subway at 9:30 in the morning. [Non-New Yorkers, take note: it's rare.] The Greatest of All Time usually deals with blown shots by dragging his middle finger across his forehead and tucking his hair behind his ear. Not this time. This was a semi-final match with Novak Djokovic at the 2009 Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, Florida. Djokovic just broke Fed in the third and deciding set and was up 15-0 when the Greatest of All Time took his eyes off a routine approach shot that could have evened the score. Federer went through lots of racquets when he was playing the junior circuit; wonder if he felt a little wave of nostalgia upon banging this one hard into the court.

On the Sideline

Proof of Tennis Hate #9: Distracted Fans

Haters, distracted driving driving is a scourge.  Recently, while in Chicago visiting the in-laws, I had to tell a cabbie to STOP PLAYING A VIDEO GAME ON HIS SMART PHONE while doing 65 down Interstate 294.

Now, the USTA is promoting Distracted Fanning.  I got an e-mail today urging me to "reserve now" a device called Fanvision, which will allow me to watch up to 6 different courts from anywhere on the grounds of the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, where the US Open begins on Monday.  Live video!  Instant replay! Match stats and analysis!  All in a little device about the size of one of those lobster rolls that you can get at the food court for $18.

This thing will cost about $25 a day to rent. The price goes up during the later rounds.

Perhaps this is a subtle hint to Rafael Nadal to speed up his pre-serve hair tucking and jockstrap pinching ritual. We'll use those precious 30 seconds watching David Ferrer wipe his forearms with a towel over at Armstrong Stadium instead, Rafa.

I don't like the trend. I already get pissed off when I spot, on televised matches, fans along the baseline who are staring into their cellphones rather than watching the drama RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEM.

I have more sympathy for the fans in the nosebleed cheap seats of Arthur Ashe Stadium. Those folks had better reserve their Fanvision if they even want to see the match 10,000 feet below them.

But really, Haters, we can't make it through a changeover without tuning in to another match on little mini TVs?. Now THAT'S Tennis Hate.

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